It’s Party Time–VegFest Addendum

It’s party time!  Here is the information we covered during my presentation on entertaining at the amazing 2nd Annual VegFest on September 18, 2016 at the DeltaPlex.

Before the party

Know your guests’ dietary preferences

Decide what you are and are not willing to do regarding your guests dietary preferences.  If you have one GF or vegan guest, keep something special for them in the kitchen—don’t put it on the buffet table where others might eat it before they do.

Plan your menu ahead of time.  90% of the work should be done in advance so that you can relax and enjoy the party

Engage a helper.  You’ll be much more relaxed.

Half an hour before party starts:

Secure the pets

Check your energy level.  Are you meeting people with a casual happy vibe?  If not, how can you get there?

Have a great playlist going when people arrive: Gypsy jazz or those Putamayo CDs of world music

Someone will arrive early—have a job for them (setting out plates of crackers and chips)

Have things for people to do that will cause them to mingle–a drinks station is perfect!

Set up appetizers in different locations to encourage mingling–avoid the dreaded sharing circle!

‘Know when to fold ’em’  How to wrap up a party–get those who stay late to help you clean up!

I don’t know how!

Taco bar, Falafel Party, Breads and Spreads, Soup and Sides

Have a theme, like your Favorite Pop Star’s Favorite Food

Bon Jovi Sushi, Paul McCartney Pecan Pie, Madonna, Rihanna Curry Chicken (make that Curry Pacific Organic Original Seitan Chunks), Justin Bieber, Spaghetti

Who do you most want to have dinner with, dead or alive?  Bring their favorite food plus a couple of quotes.

No time? Have a Danish open-faced sandwich or Smørrebrød (pronounced smuhr-brot ) party

Scandinavian rye can be purchased on Fridays (and maybe Saturdays) at Field & Fire Bakery

Here’s a cool article about Smørrebrød from Serious Eats (not vegan)

Here is a list of Trader Joe’s ready-made food items that are vegan

Here’s a video tour of Costco vegan items.  Not all items are available at all stores.  Ask at the counter.

Here’s a fun post about shopping vegan at Meijer

The lentil walnut pate at our demo can be found on the blog in this post

Here is Sue’s Not-so-French Onion Dip

Not-so-French Onion Dip

Sue Stauffacher

1 batch nut ricotta (see below)

1medium onion, minced fine

1 tsp toasted onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1 T fresh or dried parsley (if fresh, mince fine)

Nut Ricotta

2 cups nuts, soaked (cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds) Or 1 cup soaked and a box of firm tofu

½ cup water or rejuvelac (rejuvelac is much better!)

1-2 T lemon juice or ascorbic acid powder or citric acid powder

Salt, to taste

Put soaked nuts in food processor and process until bread crumb consistency.  Add tofu and process until you get the creamy/chunky consistency of ricotta.  Taste adjust seasonings.

And don’t forget…the Taco Bar!


Nacho Cheese Sauce  (oil-free adaptation below)

This recipe is much easier if you practice mise en place prior to beginning.

2 T vegan margarine

1 cup (possibly a bit more) unsweetened soy or other non-dairy milk

¾ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp fine sea salt

½ tsp onion powder

2 tsp. smooth natural peanut butter

¼ cup brown rice flour (or all-purpose flour)

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 cup salsa

3 T chopped canned jalapenos and a little juice (optional)

 Put brown rice flour in round-bottomed, smallish sauce pan and turn heat to medium.  Begin by toasting the flour, allowing it to heat and agitating the pan as if you were making popcorn though you want to keep the flour close to the pan bottom.  Do not walk away.  This will change from un-cooked to cooked very quickly.  The flour will turn a darker color and smell nutty.  Remove from heat and drop the vegan margarine into the pan along with peanut butter.  Let it sit for a moment to melt.  After margarine is mostly melted, begin to stir to incorporate.  You will soon have a ball of paste.

Do not panic.  Sprinkle on onion, garlic powder and salt and slowly add some of the milk.  The flour mixture will quickly absorb the milk, so add a bit more.  Keep adding until all the milk has been incorporated.  Next, add the salsa and nutritional yeast and stir again.  Remove from heat.  Add optional jalapenos and juice.

Oil-free version

Substitute vegan margarine and flour for 3 oz. peeled and cooked potato and 1 T rice starch (such as Hol-grain).  Blend all ingredients (except salsa and jalapenos) in a high speed blender, pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add salsa and optional jalapenos, stir to combine and heat thoroughly.

~Sue Stauffacher (


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